Law & Order: Season 4, Episode 2

Volunteers (29 Sep. 1993)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 79 users  
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A drug addicted and violent homeless man, who had been terrorizing a neighborhood and whom the residents and police had been unable to do anything about, is severely beaten.



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Title: Volunteers (29 Sep 1993)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Reid Mullen
Kent Broadhurst ...
Dr. Creighton
Leon Prosky
Marion Killinger ...
Roland Kirk
Harold Morrissey
Prosky's Lawyer
George Siddell


Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate the severe beating of a homeless man, Roland Kirk. The man is something of a neighborhood terror and he is often off of his medication and also smokes cracks. He was found in an alleyway but had $2200 in his coat pocket and the detectives later learned that he has a $15000 trust account managed by Richard Gilrich, an advocate for the homeless. The block association lost a court case which is where the money came from as they were clearly violating his rights. As a result, he continues to terrorize the neighborhood having once pushed a child in front of a moving car. On the night he was beaten, he had attacked a woman, Irene Morrissey, and her husband apparently decided to teach him a lesson. It all seems straightforward but Getting a conviction proves to be another matter. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

29 September 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Prosky's Lawyer: Your honor, my client is a respected oral surgeon.
Judge Sirkin: You're on thin ice, counselor, I've seen Marathon Man.
See more »


Remade as Law & Order: UK: Community Service (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

An impossible case
13 June 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This episode had its origins in the middle Seventies when it was decided in New York that we could no longer afford to house our mentally ill patients any longer. So we sent some of the purportedly less violent ones on the street with enough scripts to keep them on an even keel.

But as this episode graphically shows it doesn't always work. Marion Killinger becomes a public menace to all concerned hanging around Bedford Street in Manhattan. The folks who can afford the rents in that area don't want to live with a public menace that just won't go away. When he pulls another violent act against a woman, her husband and other concerned citizens just take some direct action.

This was an impossible case for Michael Moriarty to win. Whether on the street or the subway, New Yorkers deal with this every day. The one who did the deed, Denis O'Hare has across the board sympathy. And Killinger really kills himself on cross examination. No one could have been in his corner after what he shows on the stand.

A nice bit of social commentary on the homeless issue.

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